During the month of March, Philabundance is thrilled to celebrate National Nutrition Month alongside Feeding America and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s National Nutrition Month theme of Personalize Your Plate reflects Philabundance’s expansive and diverse service area. In Philadelphia alone, nearly one in four residents speaks a language other than English at home and 15% were born in another country (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2020). Several of our member agencies have explicit missions to serve immigrants and refugees, and many more open their doors to anyone who needs food – no questions asked. This year’s theme acknowledges that people’s plates will and should look different from one another, and that “there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health.” (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)
We also wanted to take this opportunity to share how Philabundance is working to increasing access to healthy foods in the communities we serve. Three years ago, Philabundance was one of several organizations to join the Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (HPI) taskforce. In September 2019, Philabundance hired its first nutrition educator in the Agency Relations department as part of the initiative. The goal of the HPI is to increase access to healthy foods at the pantry level, as well as increase client selection and consumption of these items in order to ultimately reduce the burden of chronic disease among Pennsylvanians who rely on the charitable food system. We do this by working closely with our partner agencies to provide technical assistance, nutrition training, equipment, display materials and educational resources like healthy recipes using common pantry ingredients.
As with everything Philabundance does, we simply could not achieve our nutrition goals without the staff and volunteers who tirelessly serve their community. Chuck Kieffer, founder of Lifewerks and one of the first agency representatives to participate in the HPI, reported the following:
“Over the course of this past year in working with Philabundance we have invested in educating our volunteers in healthy attitudes towards food…We also took steps to create an environment where we have a constant dialogue with new clients to learn about their backgrounds and cultural food needs.”
You can read the full HPI success story here. It is inspiring working with Chuck and so many others who prioritize the dignity and long-term health of their clients.
There are many ways for you to join us in celebrating National Nutrition Month. If you are trying to understand more about what is in your food, the best place to start is the Nutrition Label. Did you know the nutrition label has undergone some changes in the last couple years? Check them out on the USDA website here.
– You can test your nutrition knowledge by taking the National Nutrition Month Quiz.
– Try out a new recipe from the Feeding PA HPI website!
– Commemorate National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Day on March 10th by searching for an RDN
– Watch a live Fish Four Ways cooking demonstration on Facebook Live.
– Tune in to Facebook Live for a chat with a Registered Dietician on nutrition myths, healthy tips and more.
Speaking of which, what healthy habits have you adapted this year? Have you been cooking more at home? Taking more stretch breaks or walking around your neighborhood more?
Join Philabundance as we celebrate NNM all month long and don’t forget to tag Philabundance and use the hashtag #NationalNutritionMonth when you are posting.
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